Most Policy Initiative logo

Career and Technical Education in Missouri

April 4, 2022
view pdf
WRITTEN BY Dr. Brittany Whitley and Dr. Alan Moss

Executive Summary

High school career and technical education (CTE) programs can provide students with academic knowledge (e.g., career-oriented courses, dual enrollment), technical skills, & certifications (e.g., industry-recognized credentials), as well as real-world work experience (e.g., career academies, internships, youth apprenticeships). CTE participation is associated with higher graduation rates and better employment outcomes. House Bill 2171 and Senate Bill 703 would make Individual Career and Academic Plans (ICAPs), which are currently optional, required for public school students prior to entering the 9th grade. Additionally, high school students would be required to announce their post-graduation plans prior to graduation. Lastly, these bills would require the state to provide the “means and capability” for high school students who are participating in CTE programs to learn about and apply for federal aid available under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). House Bill 1928 would modify an existing CTE-related requirement relating to the visiting scholars program. House Bill 2731 and Senate Bill 1055 would expand the Dual Credit Scholarship Fund to include Dual Enrollment Scholarships allowing high school students to enroll in coursework at colleges/universities.


  • The Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education offers CTE programs in high schools, regional career centers, and postsecondary institutions, covering a range of career pathways including agriculture, business, and STEM.
    • In the 2019-20 school year, 64% of Missouri high school students enrolled in at least one career education program and 5,366 students received industry-recognized credentials.
  • Students who participate in CTE programs may be eligible for one or several current funding opportunities (e.g., YouthBuild, Workforce Pathways for Youth) available under WIOA.
  • Missouri’s visiting scholars program allows individuals with specific degrees and/or employment experience to hold temporary, renewable teaching certifications in order to support students’ in-class teaching and career development needs.


  • Much of the information about the relationship between CTE and high school graduation rates comes from studies in schools where all students participate in CTE. Additional research is needed to understand the extent to which specific statewide CTE programs impact graduation rates and other career outcomes.


This Note has been updated. You can access the previous versions here (published March 2021 and February 2022).

Most Policy Initiative logo
238 E High St., 3rd Floor
Jefferson City, MO 65101

© 2022 MOST Policy Initiative | Website design and development by Pixel Jam Digital
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram